Dundee City Council has again supported the Career Ready initiative by giving young people paid internships to let them see the potential work opportunities in a local authority.
Over four weeks this summer, the senior secondary pupils experienced different aspects of services during their internships across council services.
The young people benefitted from one-to-one support and guidance from a volunteer council mentor over the 18-month total period of the programme
In addition to the hands-on experience the young people received, they undertook mock interviews and received e-learning opportunities. They saw behind the scenes of the City Centre with the City Centre Ambassadors and also visited the Al-Maktoum College to hear about the courses on offer there.
The young people gave their reflections at the end of the initiative.
Daisy Thomas, Braeview Academy, said:“The internship has made me think about the council as an option for my future career. The internship has helped me gain more confidence and improve my communication skills, I've also been able to build new skills which I was able to use in the office and I can take these skills with me into future employment.”
Praise Nnamuchi, Harris Academy, said:“Although I found the prospect of doing an internship really scary I really enjoyed it as I was able to work alongside Dundee City Council staff and I found the setting interesting. I gained lots of experience supporting the service users, observing and participating in the activities that were arranged. I have never worked before; this opportunity has helped me to understand how to act in a work situation. I feel I have gained more self-confidence and good communication skills.”
Nathan Browne, Grove Academy, said:“I was lucky enough to be working alongside the Learning Disabilities team in different facilities around the city. When working in these placements I learned valuable life and work experience. It was an opportunity to develop nice bonds with the people using the service. I also found it interesting to work alongside the staff caring for the service users who were teaching me their profession.”
Crawford Haig, Craigie High School, said:“I’ve never had any idea what to do in terms of employment after I leave school, and even up until I started meeting my career ready mentor I didn’t have a clue. But upon completion of my internship I have really discovered a passion for working with children and people in the community who need support through sport.”
Sasha Donaldson, St Paul’s RC Academy, said:“I was given a task to create and design an engagement survey which I would use to identify the needs of the young people using the Youth Employment Service. During my first week I met with many young people to undertake the survey, both in the office and in two community centres and it was lovely to hear so many heart-warming and happy stories about why they use the service."
Alyssa Saunders, Baldragon Academy, said:“At V&A Dundee I also took part in a research project as well as some workshops and exhibition maintenance. I took part in curating an upcoming exhibition as well as working with the group Front Lounge and working as a gallery assistant. Overall this was an amazing experience as I got the chance to work in a huge variety of roles and I got so much helpful experience, and also made connections with a lot of new people.”
Children and families convener Councillor Stewart Hunter added:“As an employer trying to encourage opportunities for young people, it is important that we support the Career Ready initiative.
“This allows them invaluable insights into the work of the council, lets them understand what qualifications they will need and arms them with skills that will help in writing CVs and for interviews.
“I wish them all well for their future and hope that their time being mentored in the council will inspire them to achieve their goals.”
More details on the work of the Career Ready charity and paid internships are available at https://careerready.org.uk/scotland/
Dundee draws skilled workers from a 60-minute catchment population of 640,000 and has a local population of over 140,000. The availability of a large pool of highly skilled labour is a key feature in the Dundee economy. Flexibility in the labour force is currently more prevalent in Dundee than in Scotland as a whole. All forms of labour market flexibility - part-time, temporary employment, self-employment and shift work - are widely operational within the city. Labour force stability in the city is excellent, enabling companies to plan with confidence. Labour turnover levels are less than 5% and absenteeism averages 2%.